Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Quality Discussion Thread


Recommended Posts

I started reading the series back in the mid-90s, at the age of 10. Later, exploring the old wotmania site must have been one of the first things I ever did on the internet. As I got older, the books lost their appeal for me, and when RJ passed away, I stopped reading altogether. But this December, I found myself wondering whether the series ever got finished, and I ended up rereading the entire thing in anticipation of the final volume. It was a strange and lovely experience to rediscover all the old fictional friends from my early teens. I was very pleasantly surprised by TGS and ToM, too - even though they were far less well-written than the first few books, I was grateful for many things that I had longed for but that RJ never quite managed to do, like the way Nynaeve got rescued from being nothing more than an incompetent bully. I ended up getting very excited indeed about AMoL, as excited as I had last been for ACoS. Maybe that's why the book was such a letdown.

 

I understand that readers who like action scenes with duels and lots of Trollocs dying onscreen had a great time with this book. I like that kind of thing myself if it's as well written as the battle against the Shaido at Cairhien was. But what I really wanted was a resolution to the characters' inner lives: how do they manage to face the event that they have been waiting and preparing for for so long? The only reason why I want to know that all those Trollocs and Dreadlords are getting chopped down in the first place is because I want to know how that affects the characters' inner worlds. I can be at peace with Moiraine spending most of the Last Battle huddling behind Rand while he faces the DO, but I'd like to know what she is thinking and feeling about it in the meantime! As someone pointed out, the ratio of showing vs. telling seems to be off in this book, which is a real shame, because BS showed that he was perfectly capable of doing a decent job with the previous two books. And the same goes for character interactions. I've seen a number of comments in the last few days that point out the lack of authenticity and detail in the Merrilor interactions, and I agree.

 

There are a million tiny continuity issues, and others here have described the problems with plotting (number of people involved in the battles; number of people who can channel present at various locations), with the prose (weave and tempest and channeler, brr; I also thought "exquisite" was very cheap) - but I think the main problem is the flattening of complex points of view. Tuon is a case in point. One of the best things about RJ's books was the fact that every character made sense from the inside, even if they were crazy or evil. In AMoL, Tuon becomes a cardboard Empress - why? RJ's Tuon basically ran off with Mat because the omens said so and stayed with him because she gave her word, while BS's Tuon considers not sending her forces back to the most important battle ever. To me, that reads like a heavy-handed way to create ambiguity for her character, as opposed to the more complex sense of otherness that we got from her actions and PoV in the kidnapping episode. Something similar seems to have happened to a lot of minor characters, too, and it's a shame, because I still feel the same hunger to read the last book as I did before actually reading it... instead of closure I only got a longing to read a version of this book with the same plot lines but with properly realized interior monologues...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 1.9k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I started reading the series back in the mid-90s, at the age of 10. Later, exploring the old wotmania site must have been one of the first things I ever did on the internet. As I got older, the books lost their appeal for me, and when RJ passed away, I stopped reading altogether. But this December, I found myself wondering whether the series ever got finished, and I ended up rereading the entire thing in anticipation of the final volume. It was a strange and lovely experience to rediscover all the old fictional friends from my early teens. I was very pleasantly surprised by TGS and ToM, too - even though they were far less well-written than the first few books, I was grateful for many things that I had longed for but that RJ never quite managed to do, like the way Nynaeve got rescued from being nothing more than an incompetent bully. I ended up getting very excited indeed about AMoL, as excited as I had last been for ACoS. Maybe that's why the book was such a letdown.

I understand that readers who like action scenes with duels and lots of Trollocs dying onscreen had a great time with this book. I like that kind of thing myself if it's as well written as the battle against the Shaido at Cairhien was. But what I really wanted was a resolution to the characters' inner lives: how do they manage to face the event that they have been waiting and preparing for for so long? The only reason why I want to know that all those Trollocs and Dreadlords are getting chopped down in the first place is because I want to know how that affects the characters' inner worlds. I can be at peace with Moiraine spending most of the Last Battle huddling behind Rand while he faces the DO, but I'd like to know what she is thinking and feeling about it in the meantime! As someone pointed out, the ratio of showing vs. telling seems to be off in this book, which is a real shame, because BS showed that he was perfectly capable of doing a decent job with the previous two books. And the same goes for character interactions. I've seen a number of comments in the last few days that point out the lack of authenticity and detail in the Merrilor interactions, and I agree.

There are a million tiny continuity issues, and others here have described the problems with plotting (number of people involved in the battles; number of people who can channel present at various locations), with the prose (weave and tempest and channeler, brr; I also thought "exquisite" was very cheap) - but I think the main problem is the flattening of complex points of view. Tuon is a case in point. One of the best things about RJ's books was the fact that every character made sense from the inside, even if they were crazy or evil. In AMoL, Tuon becomes a cardboard Empress - why? RJ's Tuon basically ran off with Mat because the omens said so and stayed with him because she gave her word, while BS's Tuon considers not sending her forces back to the most important battle ever. To me, that reads like a heavy-handed way to create ambiguity for her character, as opposed to the more complex sense of otherness that we got from her actions and PoV in the kidnapping episode. Something similar seems to have happened to a lot of minor characters, too, and it's a shame, because I still feel the same hunger to read the last book as I did before actually reading it... instead of closure I only got a longing to read a version of this book with the same plot lines but with properly realized interior monologues...

 

Which again necessarily makes us ask the question why they wrote these last three

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen much said about Padan Fain. Was anyone else thoroughly disappointed at how he essentially did nothing and all the buildup and creation of this complex character, in the end, was a complete waste?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think Jordan had any children that could later finish it up with the diligence and respect it deserved. Too bad. Well, I mean, I enjoyed the last 3 books, but say I had read TGS first, I would not have gotten into the series with the same level of dedication.

Like Brian Herbert did?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the question that should be asked is why the book was split into 3? And why it was so rushed?

I mean the majority of us have been reading the books for so long that a 2-3 year wait on the final book wouldn't be an issue.

 

Anyone do a reread yet?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just re-read the series before this final book came out.  I believe every book and in fact every word was needed.  I'd be interested to see what others who read the entire series through thought.  To me it honestly felt like a completely smooth transition with no lapses or fluff.  Maybe some of you feel the way you do because you waited 2-3 years for a book and then felt cheated because there wasn't a satisfying conclusion, but there could be no satisfying conclusion in the middle of a series.

 

Read the entire series straight through from book 1 to book 14 and I believe you will see that the story moves pretty fast paced from one sequence to the next.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I don't think Jordan had any children that could later finish it up with the diligence and respect it deserved. Too bad. Well, I mean, I enjoyed the last 3 books, but say I had read TGS first, I would not have gotten into the series with the same level of dedication.

Like Brian Herbert did?

 

Well, what those guys have done to the Dune series is a disgrace. There is just no words to describe what they'd deserve for it. Being collared doesn't even come close. [i'm being completely serious btw.]

 

This is not even close to that. This series has gotten an ending. JUst a completely predictable,shallow and most of it poorly written. It wasn't a crime tho.

Edited by csarmi
Link to post
Share on other sites

Granted it was early this past morning when I turned the last page, so I could have glazed over it, but how do you go through a sub-plot where you pair up Perrin & Gaul to quest through TAR, have Perrin end up leaving Gaul in TAR, then prior to his(Perrin's) return have a scene wherein he states to Gaul's femme fatale that if he finds him(Gaul), he'll bring him back here(Mayene), make it back into TAR, have a PoV from Gaul, who then ends up STARING PERRIN IN THE EYES, and then through the last page of the book, as far as I know, is still picking his nose, holding his wounded side together, stuck in TAR.

If I missed it, okay that's on me - If I didn't.... *cough

 

881-882. Perrin drops Gaul off in the Two River's camp, Grady heals him. Obviously not Mayene, but he's safe and healed and has a story for his kids some day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say I wasn't impressed by this book, I'll give the entire series a re-read at some point within the next few months which will better help me decide where it ranks with the rest of the books but at the moment I'd put it CoT low. Several of the problems from TGS and ToM were there, though being the final book, they frustrated me more. 

 

Matt still didn't feel like Matt. As a character he is quite amusing, though too lighthearted, and the pissing contest he got into with Rand about their accomplishments was painful to read. Similarly the return of Moiraine was underwhelming, I expected far more emotion from one of my favourite characters of the series though she felt bland. This seems to be a problem for several of the middling characters of the series where Brandon fails to really give them a voice and for that they lack character. As an enemy Demandred was great to read (though why he didn't search for Rand at Shayol Ghul is beyond me and makes little sense) though didn't feel like Demandred. 

 

Lets be positive for a while those - Perrin was wonderfully written, I have hugely enjoyed him as a character since Sanderson took over, and I very much liked Elayne as well.

 

The fighting felt too drawn out and though I enjoyed large parts of "The Last Battle" a fair amount of it felt monotonous. The description of the fighting itself was not to the standard of Dumai's Wells for example, it didn't feel clear to read. The duels with Demandred were great fun once I got over three people being able to reach the leader of the forces of the Shadow without getting an arrow in their back. I wasn't a big fan of Egwene so her death was a good read (leaving the death of Bela the most emotional) though poor in description. I dislike the one the spot discovering of a Weave. The eagerly awaited Black tower story left me unimpressed, it read more like Harry Potter than Wheel of Time. 

 

Sandersons obsession with the word "tempest" continues to plague aMoL with 'tempest' (or 'tempestuous') being used 26 times. I counted because each use of it took me out of the moment. Not long into the book the word "somehow" also started to bother me.

 

"Somehow Egwene knew that the Flame would have had much less effect on a person who had not given himself to the Shadow."

 

This is one example of numerous I can recall where the word "somehow" has been used in place of any reasoning or knowledge. When describing the use of a Weave that is itself new knowledge, "somehow" knowing the effects of it lazy writing. This is unsurprising, Sanderson lacks subtlety, using a sentence or two too many, too often, especially for a man whose strength is not in description. AMOL is also plagued with a fair amount of unnecessary (and low quality) similes that took me out of the book as surely as if I had read the word 'tempest'.

 

"The names ripped from him like physical things, like doves aflight, and each carried away a burden"

 

"He felt like a multilegged nachi trapped in a dried-up tidal pool, waiting desperately for the water to return while watching a group of children work their way down to the beach with buckets, gathering up anything that looked tasty..."

 

Again, there are two examples of over a dozen I think i can pull up. There is one simile involving a rug merchant I unfortunately can't locate at the moment that I would love to have quoted.

 

 

Use of modern terminology was also galling. The fight between Rand and The Dark One was vague, I wasn't a fan. I expected the Bore to be Sealed and looking back, talk of destroying The Dark One felt like the kind of fluff i'd use to pad out my essays during University. Again this doesn't surprise me because this has been a feature of all Sanderson WoT books. The reasoning for not wanting to kill The Dark One felt extremely poor and would better have been left out altogether - we can't create an Eden because without evil how will people be given a choice? Awful. The inner dialogue that led to such realisation has all the faux philosophical enlightenment I'd expect from a show aimed for 10 year old girls on the Disney channel. The battle itself felt poorly described (whether by Jordan or Sanderson I don't care) and I never managed a true image in my head of what was going on. for sure it felt drawn out.

 

"The Dark One still strove to destroy him. Rand felt strong again despite the attacks. Relaxed, complete. With his burdens gone he could fight again. He held himself together. It was difficult but he was victorious".

 

"It came upon Rand again, the force of nothingness itself trying to pull him apart. The strength of the attack did not lessen. And yet, suddenly, it felt like an idle buzzing."

 

At least Tam lives. I have perhaps been a tad critical with my opinion here but this isn't just a Wheel of Time book, it is the end of a series. hopefully I will think more positively on a re-read when I don't have such expectations. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I actually am curious if we can get specifics as to what BS described as the "GRRM moment".  I cant think of any moments like that in the series that were not clearly written by RJ.  Unless I am massively mistaken...

 

My guess would be the death of Romanda, who was a majorish character who died almost instantly -- so quickly that you really could blink and miss it -- and never mentioned again. 

 

I'm really glad that type of thing didn't happen earlier in the series; it's what made me stop reading A Song of Ice and Fire after the first book and a half. If characters are just going to be randomly dying everywhere, I'm not going to let myself make any emotional attachments to any of them, and then what's the point of an epic fantasy series? 

 

As it is, I don't think I'm ever going to be able to do another WoT reread, because knowing that Egwene dies in the end will make it impossible to read any of the scenes involving her in earlier books since she just ended up dying anyway and all the effort I put into caring about her was a waste. 

This sums up my depression completely.  It honestly never occured to me that Egwene would die.  After all the crud that she went through, she dies so young.  No chance to have kids or be married and happy.  No chance to spend centuries of her life eradicating the evil that is the seanchan empire.  I know that she made sone unpopular choices, but they were mostly necessary.  From her POV Rand WAS dangerous.  Sure, she was bratty and unpleasant.  Most of the fanbases ire was a result from her opposition to Rand and the Asha'Man, whom we loved.  Really, she was merely the representative of the Aes Sedai, who were the good guy "antagonists" of characters we loved/thought were awesome badasses.  Her death greatly cheapens the entire series for me.

 

Beyond that, I was really expecting the reunion scene in Emond's field where all the original kids got back together.  Let those "kids" who are now among the most powerful people on earth meet in the tap room to hang out for Eqwene's wedding recption, or whatever.  Or even just letting the original 3 bros meet up for a drink with Mat getting an Aes Sedai to take him there, Rand traveling there, and Perrin "dream traveling" to all meet. 

 

Nope. 

 

Plus, we got that asinine "body swap" arc.  WTF.  Never explained how.  Foreshadowed, sure.  But that foreshadowing could easily have been because they were linked as opposite sides of the battle of light and dark and were destined to meet and battle at Shayol Gul. 

 

Most of this is RJ's "fault."  He set up this fantastic world through the first 6 books.  Those six were some of the best fantasy writing ever.  And after that, RJ was converted to the Church of Robert Jordan.  Book 7 was still very good, but that was when the seeds of the "slow death by subplots and people we just met and don't care about" began in earnest.  Over the next few books he began to really create a (too) rich world.  We all know what happened.  Too much detail, too many subplots, not enough focus on favorite characters, etc.  And the sad thing was, the books were still pretty good.  It was only compared to the first few books that the post LOC books began to decline. 

 

RJ's actions really seemed to play into the Church of Robert Jordan, aka, believing his own hype.  He did those Conan books out of left field, he did a prequel, and began to talk about out riggers, sequels, and prequels.  He got lost in his own skill.  I blame the internet.  Fan sites, fan interaction, his own blog, all contributed to him getting caught up in the world he created.  He was so successful that his editor/tor were probably unable to reign him in.  I am sure that any attempts to tell him what to do were met with "delays" in writing, etc.  Which I understand and condone.  I wouldn't want my work changed or altered.  But there was no one to tell him that the quality was slipping.  Or at least no one he believed or would listen too.

 

To his credit, he realized that he was going down a bad road and righted the ship at the end.  But his world was too complex.  I know that he said he only wanted one more book.  But there had been rumblings of this sort for the last few books.  We were constantly being told that he was wrapping it up, only to get more detail and further expansion of subplots.  He created so many threads, that there was no way to wrap it up with only one book.  Or three books.  If this was indeed the end he "outlined" then it is clear that he initially planned out riggers.  The Mat/Tuon (never ever Fortuona) outriggers would have been great ways to tie up the series and give us wrap ups for down the road. 

 

Now that we know the outline was just that, a raw outline, I am more convinced than ever that RJ would have done "more" with the end.  He just didn't have the time to do it properly.   And poor BS just had too much to work with.  There were too many threads to tie up, especially since it would require "putting words" into RJ's mouth.  It is one thing to create scenes and dialogue that use existing characters or that flesh out rough ideas from RJ's outline.  It is something else to come up with answers to major questions that have plagued the fan base forever.  I would have done it, but I get that Tor/BS/RJ's estate weren't into it.  It just ended, but that was the hand BS was dealt. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say I wasn't impressed by this book, I'll give the entire series a re-read at some point within the next few months which will better help me decide where it ranks with the rest of the books but at the moment I'd put it CoT low. Several of the problems from TGS and ToM were there, though being the final book, they frustrated me more.

 

Matt still didn't feel like Matt. As a character he is quite amusing, though too lighthearted, and the pissing contest he got into with Rand about their accomplishments was painful to read. Similarly the return of Moiraine was underwhelming, I expected far more emotion from one of my favourite characters of the series though she felt bland. This seems to be a problem for several of the middling characters of the series where Brandon fails to really give them a voice and for that they lack character. As an enemy Demandred was great to read (though why he didn't search for Rand at Shayol Ghul is beyond me and makes little sense) though didn't feel like Demandred.

 

Lets be positive for a while those - Perrin was wonderfully written, I have hugely enjoyed him as a character since Sanderson took over, and I very much liked Elayne as well.

 

The fighting felt too drawn out and though I enjoyed large parts of "The Last Battle" a fair amount of it felt monotonous. The description of the fighting itself was not to the standard of Dumai's Wells for example, it didn't feel clear to read. The duels with Demandred were great fun once I got over three people being able to reach the leader of the forces of the Shadow without getting an arrow in their back. I wasn't a big fan of Egwene so her death was a good read (leaving the death of Bela the most emotional) though poor in description. I dislike the one the spot discovering of a Weave. The eagerly awaited Black tower story left me unimpressed, it read more like Harry Potter than Wheel of Time.

 

Sandersons obsession with the word "tempest" continues to plague aMoL with 'tempest' (or 'tempestuous') being used 26 times. I counted because each use of it took me out of the moment. Not long into the book the word "somehow" also started to bother me.

 

"Somehow Egwene knew that the Flame would have had much less effect on a person who had not given himself to the Shadow."

 

This is one example of numerous I can recall where the word "somehow" has been used in place of any reasoning or knowledge. When describing the use of a Weave that is itself new knowledge, "somehow" knowing the effects of it lazy writing. This is unsurprising, Sanderson lacks subtlety, using a sentence or two too many, too often, especially for a man whose strength is not in description. AMOL is also plagued with a fair amount of unnecessary (and low quality) similes that took me out of the book as surely as if I had read the word 'tempest'.

 

"The names ripped from him like physical things, like doves aflight, and each carried away a burden"

 

"He felt like a multilegged nachi trapped in a dried-up tidal pool, waiting desperately for the water to return while watching a group of children work their way down to the beach with buckets, gathering up anything that looked tasty..."

 

Again, there are two examples of over a dozen I think i can pull up. There is one simile involving a rug merchant I unfortunately can't locate at the moment that I would love to have quoted.

 

 

Use of modern terminology was also galling. The fight between Rand and The Dark One was vague, I wasn't a fan. I expected the Bore to be Sealed and looking back, talk of destroying The Dark One felt like the kind of fluff i'd use to pad out my essays during University. Again this doesn't surprise me because this has been a feature of all Sanderson WoT books. The reasoning for not wanting to kill The Dark One felt extremely poor and would better have been left out altogether - we can't create an Eden because without evil how will people be given a choice? Awful. The inner dialogue that led to such realisation has all the faux philosophical enlightenment I'd expect from a show aimed for 10 year old girls on the Disney channel. The battle itself felt poorly described (whether by Jordan or Sanderson I don't care) and I never managed a true image in my head of what was going on. for sure it felt drawn out.

 

"The Dark One still strove to destroy him. Rand felt strong again despite the attacks. Relaxed, complete. With his burdens gone he could fight again. He held himself together. It was difficult but he was victorious".

 

"It came upon Rand again, the force of nothingness itself trying to pull him apart. The strength of the attack did not lessen. And yet, suddenly, it felt like an idle buzzing."

 

At least Tam lives. I have perhaps been a tad critical with my opinion here but this isn't just a Wheel of Time book, it is the end of a series. hopefully I will think more positively on a re-read when I don't have such expectations.

 

 

Honestly, you are being less critical than it deserves IMO.  My opinion of Brandon has literally fallen through the floor - not simply because I didn't like aMoL, but because within aMoL I found several portions to be very well written and very enjoyable to read.  To me, it looks clearly as if he spent a lot of time on sections he was personally interested in and blatantly slapped down words on the paper simply to get through other sections.  That is inexcusable for a professional.

 

In the past, I had just assumed the guy didn't have the talent or skills to get the job done.  Quite to the contrary, he absolutely did possess the skillset and talent to do a satisfactory job with ending this series.  He just didn't spend the time.  100% effort versus 110% effort.  Very sad.

Edited by Mark D
Link to post
Share on other sites

Threepy, you counted wrong. There are 30 instances of "tempest" in AMoL, 31 if you count the one in a chapter title. That brings the total count of tempests in three books to 73+1.

Edited by Cem Önal
Link to post
Share on other sites

Threepy, you counted wrong. There are 30 instances of "tempest" in AMoL, 31 if you count the one in a chapter title. That brings the total count of tempests in three books to 73+1.

 

Well then, I'm impressed Sanderson managed to sneak a couple by me whilst I was on the lookout. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On Love: ...Mat and Tuon's relationship (honestly, its a different kind of love but that's how real love is between people - its not always weeping and golden streams of light and all that junk...)

 

I was going to disagree with you about the how people show love thing.  Then I remembered how my husband and I talk to each other.  I'll ask him if he thought dinner was good and he'll reply with, "It's acceptable.  I won't be spitting it back in your face and giving you a beating tonight."  He'll ask if I love him and I'll reply with, "Meh.  I suppose I won't murder you.  That's the best I can give you."  No lie.  We've even had long conversations about how we'd murder the other one, how we'd try to get away with the crime, how we'd hide the body.

 

However, if someone were to witness that conversation, they would know by our tones of voice, body language, and, oh I don't know, the SMILING and LAUGHING we'd be doing while saying these awful and irreverent things to each other that we actually do love each other very much.  We don't get that between Mat and Tuon.  It hasn't really been established that Tuon has much of a sense of humor.  And even if she did, Mat isn't entirely sure.  She ought to have saved those jokes for after they'd been married for a while and Mat is accustomed to the Seanchan culture.  So instead, without visual cues or tones of voice (other than the ones we apply in our heads), everything between them comes across as, "Meh.  You'll do...for now."  Now I choose to read it with a sense of humor because that's how my husband and I act towards each other.  But if someone else who has read the series has never had those type of conversations, I could understand why it's almost appalling.  A lot of Mat and Tuon scenes fall flat because we DON'T see or hear the actual scene.  We're not even given descriptive prose about their body language or tones of voice.  Nothing.  Nada.

Link to post
Share on other sites

GRRM'd...

Why not Rhurac's death? That was pretty much the definition of a meaningless death.

 

That all said, I wasn't expecting Egwenes death at all.

Pretty much called the ending (to an extent) though.

 

As for overall quality?

I did notice either typos, or something akin to bad grammar. Some phrases just didn't roll off the tongue correctly.

 

Also, am I allowed to point and laugh at all the Faile haters out there, cause I just know  they were chearing for her death? :wink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

No point denying it BS could have done it far better . Lot of little things , not to mention the wired and absurd large wholes of questions that was´t answered . he did a rather ruff job of it  if not wholly  unlovable . I do not hold him entirely guilty as i think he a) had a hard job making a splendid ending fitting such a great series b) was forced to make concessions . I don´t know if it was his choices to have a pile of battles ( the main thing that bothered me ) maybe it was RJ plan and BS did´t know to fit it in , so he  rather then mabey cut battles out ( witch may have gone contrary to the will of RJ ) focused more on making a book closer to RJ ( material wise ) than of making a book that fitted the storyline created by himself ( BS) .

 

Or he thought he could do both but shrewd it up (not so super badly but all the same ) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I don't think Jordan had any children that could later finish it up with the diligence and respect it deserved. Too bad. Well, I mean, I enjoyed the last 3 books, but say I had read TGS first, I would not have gotten into the series with the same level of dedication.

Like Brian Herbert did?

That's a bad example lol

 

I am thinking of Tolkien. The Silmarillion is my favourite ever book.

Edited by Viperswhip
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I have to say I wasn't impressed by this book, I'll give the entire series a re-read at some point within the next few months which will better help me decide where it ranks with the rest of the books but at the moment I'd put it CoT low. Several of the problems from TGS and ToM were there, though being the final book, they frustrated me more.

 

Matt still didn't feel like Matt. As a character he is quite amusing, though too lighthearted, and the pissing contest he got into with Rand about their accomplishments was painful to read. Similarly the return of Moiraine was underwhelming, I expected far more emotion from one of my favourite characters of the series though she felt bland. This seems to be a problem for several of the middling characters of the series where Brandon fails to really give them a voice and for that they lack character. As an enemy Demandred was great to read (though why he didn't search for Rand at Shayol Ghul is beyond me and makes little sense) though didn't feel like Demandred.

 

Lets be positive for a while those - Perrin was wonderfully written, I have hugely enjoyed him as a character since Sanderson took over, and I very much liked Elayne as well.

 

The fighting felt too drawn out and though I enjoyed large parts of "The Last Battle" a fair amount of it felt monotonous. The description of the fighting itself was not to the standard of Dumai's Wells for example, it didn't feel clear to read. The duels with Demandred were great fun once I got over three people being able to reach the leader of the forces of the Shadow without getting an arrow in their back. I wasn't a big fan of Egwene so her death was a good read (leaving the death of Bela the most emotional) though poor in description. I dislike the one the spot discovering of a Weave. The eagerly awaited Black tower story left me unimpressed, it read more like Harry Potter than Wheel of Time.

 

Sandersons obsession with the word "tempest" continues to plague aMoL with 'tempest' (or 'tempestuous') being used 26 times. I counted because each use of it took me out of the moment. Not long into the book the word "somehow" also started to bother me.

 

"Somehow Egwene knew that the Flame would have had much less effect on a person who had not given himself to the Shadow."

 

This is one example of numerous I can recall where the word "somehow" has been used in place of any reasoning or knowledge. When describing the use of a Weave that is itself new knowledge, "somehow" knowing the effects of it lazy writing. This is unsurprising, Sanderson lacks subtlety, using a sentence or two too many, too often, especially for a man whose strength is not in description. AMOL is also plagued with a fair amount of unnecessary (and low quality) similes that took me out of the book as surely as if I had read the word 'tempest'.

 

"The names ripped from him like physical things, like doves aflight, and each carried away a burden"

 

"He felt like a multilegged nachi trapped in a dried-up tidal pool, waiting desperately for the water to return while watching a group of children work their way down to the beach with buckets, gathering up anything that looked tasty..."

 

Again, there are two examples of over a dozen I think i can pull up. There is one simile involving a rug merchant I unfortunately can't locate at the moment that I would love to have quoted.

 

 

Use of modern terminology was also galling. The fight between Rand and The Dark One was vague, I wasn't a fan. I expected the Bore to be Sealed and looking back, talk of destroying The Dark One felt like the kind of fluff i'd use to pad out my essays during University. Again this doesn't surprise me because this has been a feature of all Sanderson WoT books. The reasoning for not wanting to kill The Dark One felt extremely poor and would better have been left out altogether - we can't create an Eden because without evil how will people be given a choice? Awful. The inner dialogue that led to such realisation has all the faux philosophical enlightenment I'd expect from a show aimed for 10 year old girls on the Disney channel. The battle itself felt poorly described (whether by Jordan or Sanderson I don't care) and I never managed a true image in my head of what was going on. for sure it felt drawn out.

 

"The Dark One still strove to destroy him. Rand felt strong again despite the attacks. Relaxed, complete. With his burdens gone he could fight again. He held himself together. It was difficult but he was victorious".

 

"It came upon Rand again, the force of nothingness itself trying to pull him apart. The strength of the attack did not lessen. And yet, suddenly, it felt like an idle buzzing."

 

At least Tam lives. I have perhaps been a tad critical with my opinion here but this isn't just a Wheel of Time book, it is the end of a series. hopefully I will think more positively on a re-read when I don't have such expectations.

 

Honestly, you are being less critical than it deserves IMO. My opinion of Brandon has literally fallen through the floor - not simply because I didn't like aMoL, but because within aMoL I found several portions to be very well written and very enjoyable to read. To me, it looks clearly as if he spent a lot of time on sections he was personally interested in and blatantly slapped down words on the paper simply to get through other sections. That is inexcusable for a professional.

 

In the past, I had just assumed the guy didn't have the talent or skills to get the job done. Quite to the contrary, he absolutely did possess the skillset and talent to do a satisfactory job with ending this series. He just didn't spend the time. 100% effort versus 110% effort. Very sad.

To be fair to Sanderson, I imagine it was very difficult to keep up the effort to finish another persons work, no matter how much you love the series. 3 years working with another's characters, following their guidelines and working towards their conceived ending will stifle your creativity and wear down your enthusism for the work.

If you look at Sanderson's own work released since he took the WoT reins he has improved significantly over his previous work and the works are critically and commercially well received. When the shackles of WoT were removed he showed his worth.

Gathering Storm was his best and he gradually declined.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dorsey Pender, although a Confederate general, has pretty accurately summarized why this book sucked

 

Tip of the cap to you, sir.  Didn't expect that user name to draw much (read: any) recognition here.

 

Sadly, I agree with practically every word of Threepy's and GrrAaagh's posts.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Dorsey Pender, although a Confederate general, has pretty accurately summarized why this book sucked

 

Tip of the cap to you, sir.  Didn't expect that user name to draw much (read: any) recognition here.

 

Sadly, I agree with practically every word of Threepy's and GrrAaagh's posts.

 

I'm a man of many Talents

 

Suck on that Androl!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The hard part for brandon was undoing all the meandering that took place over the course of the WOT series.  In my opinion, nothing after the Lord of Chaos was necessary except the cleansing of saidin. Well, perhaps I should not be THAT harsh, but we certainly did not need eight books between Lord of Chaos and aMoL.

Edited by Axon
Link to post
Share on other sites

The hard part for brandon was undoing all the meandering that took place over the course of the WOT series.  In my opinion, nothing after the Lord of Chaos was necessary except the cleansing of saidin. Well, perhaps I should not be THAT harsh, but we certainly did not need eight books between Lord of Chaos and aMoL.

you have the timeline a little off, LoC had rand being captured.  Winter's Heart is where the tait was cleansed

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The hard part for brandon was undoing all the meandering that took place over the course of the WOT series.  In my opinion, nothing after the Lord of Chaos was necessary except the cleansing of saidin. Well, perhaps I should not be THAT harsh, but we certainly did not need eight books between Lord of Chaos and aMoL.

you have the timeline a little off, LoC had rand being captured.  Winter's Heart is where the tait was cleansed

No, I know.  Perhaps I did not articulate that correctly, but I meant that the only really relevant event after LOC was the cleansing.   Sure other stuff happened, Egwene, blah blah, but the pacing was just sotedious at that point. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...